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Online Shopper's Survival Guide
Order Anything, Anywhere, Anytime
By Jacquelyn Lynn 
Published by Entrepreneur Press
August 2006;$19.95US; 1-59918-024-3

The Indispensable Guide to Fabulous Shopping!

Savvy shopping survival expert Jacquelyn Lynn navigates all the twists and turns of online shopping, offering you secrets that save big bucks! Whether you're maneuvering through the jungle of online stores or trying your luck in an auction, her expert tips and tricks will make you a pro at ordering anything, anywhere, anytime for the best deal possible.

Learn how to:

  • Find sites and locate items with rock-bottom prices
  • Win online auctions on eBay or other sites for less than you think
  • Recognize scams and steer clear of unscrupulous e-commerce sites
  • Uncover discount codes and special online promotions

Plus, get little-known survival tips on the most popular categories that require special strategies, like jewelry, cars, real estate and travel services.

Jacquelyn Lynn is a widely published business writer and highly experienced online shopper. She is the co-author of Make Big Profits on eBay as well as numerous titles in Entrepreneur's Startup Series.

"This how-to guide reveals the secrets of always getting the lowest price for the best products."
--Jack Reynolds, co-founder, Quick Drop International and an eBay Trading Assistant

"Informative and east to understand. Jacquelyn really captures every aspect of what you need to know about being an informed internet shopper. She does it in a way that keeps you on the edge of your seat, page after page!"
--Michael Jansma, owner, and an eBay Titanium Powerseller since 1997

The following is an excerpt from the book Online Shopper's Survival Guide
by Jacquelyn Lynn 
Published by Entrepreneur Press; August 2006;$19.95US; 1-59918-024-3
Copyright © 2006 Entrepreneur Media Inc.

Tips for Avoiding Scams and Cons

I’ve seen some online scams that were so clumsy I would be amazed if anyone fell for them. I’ve seen others that were really slick and might be easy for even a scam-savvy shopper to get taken by. Keep these tips in mind, and you should be safe:

  • Always check out the seller. It’s easy to create a great-looking web site; be sure the company behind the site is just as great. Use the advice in Chapter 2, and never buy from a merchant that doesn’t include a verifiable physical address and telephone number on its web site.
  • Don’t download software at the request of a web site. A common scam is that a web site will ask you to download a program, log off, then log back on, claiming that you’ll receive some benefit from doing so. But what could happen is that when you log back in you’ll be dialing a for-pay phone number and racking up huge bills. Or the program will tell your computer to make direct calls to expensive international numbers. You may not realize what’s happened until you get your phone bill.
  • Never respond to spam. I’ve said that already; it’s worth saying again.
  • Be wary of free trials. Typically when you sign up for a free trial of anything, you’re asked to provide your credit card information so the supplier can begin billing you at the end of the free period if you don’t cancel the service. The offer could be legitimate -- or you could be serving up your credit card data to a scam artist. Before signing up for a free trial, be absolutely certain you know who you’re dealing with. A good guideline is to only accept these offers from well-known, reputable companies.
  • Stay away from “make money” offers. This includes work-at-home deals and pyramid schemes.
  • Don’t give out unnecessary personal information. This is something else worth repeating; tell merchants what they need to know to complete the sale, and nothing else.
  • If you receive an unsolicited e-mail that asks you, either directly or through a web site, for personal financial or identity information, such as your Social Security number, passwords, or other identifiers, be cautious and suspicious.
  • If you need to update your information online, use the normal process you’ve used in the past or open a new browser window and type in the web site address of the legitimate company’s account maintenance page.
  • Always report fraudulent or suspicious e-mail to your ISP. Reporting instances of spoof web sites will help get these bogus web sites shut down before they can do any more harm. You should also forward it to and to the company, bank, or organization impersonated in the e-mail. Most organizations have information on their web sites about where to report problems. Two of the most popular targets of e-mail spoofs are eBay and PayPal users. If you receive an e-mail telling you that you need to update your eBay or PayPal account information, forward the message to or (whichever is appropriate) and delete the message. To confirm that there is nothing wrong with your account, log into the site through the main address and check on your account information that way.
  • When visiting a web site, take note of the header address that displays in the address box of your browser. Most legitimate sites have a relatively short internet address that usually depicts the business name followed by “.com” or possibly “.org” or, if it’s an overseas address, by a two-letter country code. Spoof sites are more likely to have an excessively long string of characters in the header, with the legitimate business name somewhere in the string or possibly not there at all.

Copyright © 2006 Entrepreneur Media Inc.